FINAL ELECTION UPDATE OF THE NIGHTAfter all 38 precincts in Douglas County reported and the ballots were tabulated, there were more than a few surprises.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
After all 38 precincts in Douglas County reported and the ballots were tabulated, there were more than a few surprises.
If the final vote stands, Douglas County has a new county attorney, Chad Larson, who narrowly defeated 12-year incumbent Chris Karpan, 7,340 votes to 7,171 – a margin of just 1.02 percent.
Another challenger was victorious in a hotly contested Alexandria City Council race. Virgil Batesole unseated incumbent Ward 1 council member Cindy Bigger. Batesole had 435 votes to Bigger's 275. Another challenger, Don Kleine, finished third with 211 votes.
The race for Evansville mayor came down to one vote. Ron Buse is the unofficial winner with 116 votes to Terry Aasness' 115 votes. There were also three write-ins in the race. The incumbent mayor of Evansville, Jamie Englund, didn't file.
All three incumbent Douglas County commissioners up for election prevailed, two by close margins. Paul Anderson defeated Arlan Kakac in District 4 by 2 percentage points – 1,219 votes to 1,163. Norm Salto came out on top in District 2, defeating challenger Elroy Frank, who currently serves on the Alexandria City Council, by a margin of 1,615 to 1,413. Dan Olson was re-elected in District 5 with 2,060 votes. Write-in candidates, notably Bill Dropik, picked up a total of 574 votes against Olson.
Douglas County showed strong support for Republican candidates in state and federal races, joining the tide of Republican success across the country. Results are as follows (totals include only those ballots cast in Douglas County):
U.S. Representative District 7: Collin Peterson – 7,467 votes, Lee Byberg – 6,381, Gene Waldorf – 924 and Glen Menze – 615.
Senate District 11: Bill Ingebrigtsen – 10,864, Jim Thoreen – 4,623.
House District 11A: Torrey Westrom – 6,051 votes, Bennett Smith – 2,383, Dave Holman – 540.
House District 11B: Mary Franson – 3,358 votes, Amy Hunter – 1,812, Bert Pexsa – 1,308 votes.
Results in other contested local races:
Sandy Susag won the race for the open seat on the Alexandria School District 206 Board. Susag received 4,421 votes, while Laura Knudsen received 3,629 and Sara Reemts received 2,345.
Two people were elected to the Brandon City Council, including Mary Lee Korkowski (145 votes) and Scott Dutcher (134 votes). Kevin Challes received 79 votes.
Two people were elected to the Carlos City Council, including Teresa Zwieg (108 votes) and Jeff Schiffman (99 votes). Two others also received votes, Daniel Plowman (91 votes) and Rick Pierson (78 votes).
Two people were also elected to the Evansville City Council - Peter Mounts with 166 votes and George Belmore with 119 votes. Richard Novotny received 11 votes.
Kensington voters chose Jim Schecker as their new mayor. He received 74 votes over Ralph Gunderson, who received 47.
The four winners elected to the Parkers Prairie School Board were Steve Inwards with 767 votes, Judith Moeller with 701, Sheryl Myers with 624 and Lyle Oeltjenbruns with 609. Other totals – Meagan Moen with 430, Karen Morotto with 287 and Craig Morotto with 280.
Results of key races in nearby counties were not complete early Wednesday morning but here's how things stood:
West Central Area School District 2342 passed its referendum to revoke the current five-year $950/pupil referendum and replace it with a five-year $1,370/pupil referendum. The vote total, with all 28 precincts reporting, was very close: Yes – 1,266, No – 1,228.
Some results were not complete as of early Wednesday morning:
Todd County Sheriff (21 of 40 precincts reporting): Peter Mikkelson with 2,752 and Scott Dirkes with 1,400.
Todd County Question 1 (whether to bond up to $4.3 million to renovate the Todd County Historic Courthouse, 21 of 40 precincts reporting): Yes – 2,111, No – 1,931.
Osakis City Council (top two elected; one of two precincts reporting): Bruce Peterson with 413, Randy Anderson with 312 and Tim Nielsen with 206.
Osakis Mayor (one of two precincts reporting): Kip Emerson with 343, Paul Hartmann with 203.
Osakis School District 213 (top three elected; five of 11 precincts reporting): Tom Grundman with 429, Monica Klimek with 371, Steve Hilde with 346, Aimee Goodwin with 343, Dave Carlson with 269, Craig Cody with 241, Melissa Engfer with 218, Genny Lebrun with 179.
Read Friday's Echo Press for more detailed election coverage, complete precinct by precinct breakdown of the vote and reactions from the candidates.